Archive for ‘Drainage’

November 7, 2012

New York Failed to Heed Advice from Local Storm Experts: Build Sea Walls to Avoid Floods – NYTimes.com

This article appeared on September 10, 2011 in the New York Times, calling for swift action on building disaster-mitigating infrastructure such as “sea walls” around New York City, to prevent Sandy-force hurricane damage post-Irene one year before. As this article shows, one year and almost two months before Superstorm Sandy hit, storm experts were already worried about how vulnerable New York and its environs were to increasingly-violent coastal storm events, now rendered even more so in Sandy’s wake. While some planning experts are calling for 100-year planning horizons, the city had been in the process of spending more than $2 billion over the course of 18 years, clearly a drop in the needs bucket, and too late for Sandy and its aftermath just one year later.

In this Aug. 28, 2011, file photo, a biker makes his way around a taxi stranded in floodwaters of Hurricane Irene, downgraded to a tropical storm, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)

Only a year ago, [city officials] point out, the city shut down the subway system and ordered the evacuation of 370,000 people as Hurricane Irene barreled up the Atlantic coast. Ultimately, the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm and spared the city, but it exposed how New York is years away from — and billions of dollars short of — armoring itself. “They lack a sense of urgency about this,” said Douglas Hill, an engineer with the Storm Surge Research Group at Stony Brook University, on Long Island. Instead of “planning to be flooded,” as he put it, city, state and federal agencies should be investing in protection like sea gates that could close during a storm and block a surge from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean into the East River and New York Harbor.

via New York Faces Rising Seas and Slow City Action – NYTimes.com.

Sadly, Hill’s words have been proven true.

November 4, 2012

Superstorm Sandy stops filming of Noah’s Ark

In what could be termed an ironic case of life imitating art, filming of a biblical epic telling the story of Noah and his ark was put on hold this week due to Superstorm Sandy.

Darren Aronofsky’s film, starring Russell Crowe as Noah, was due to be filmed on Monday at locations in New York.

Cast and crew stayed away following warnings about the path of the storm, and two arks built for the production were docked, one in Brooklyn and the other in Oyster Bay in Long Island, an area hit by the storm.

via Superstorm Sandy stops filming of Aronofsky's Noah's Ark epic | The Jewish Chronicle.

November 3, 2012

Electric current hits salt; causes explosions that rock manhole covers – NY Daily News

Salt is a strong electrical conductor. Ocean water is full of salt. Once the salt dries, it can wreak havoc as power utilities restore electricity.

Several small explosions rattled storm-weary residents of Peter Cooper Village late Friday night and even blew two manhole covers as Con Edison was restoring power to the area. The latest apparent nastiness from Hurricane Sandy — days after the nightmare storm — caused no injuries, according to paramedics and Con Ed officials on the scene. Officials said the explosions occurred when the utility started restoring electricity and the current hit salt on the power lines. The salt was the remnant of a 10-foot wave of East River water that crashed through the complex at the height of the storm Monday.

via Explosions rock manhole covers as Con Ed restores power in Manhattan – NY Daily News.

November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Gas Shortage: Dry Pumps Could Last For Days

Industry habits could hamper efforts to respond to future gas shortages.

Even as local authorities seek to alleviate the shortages, they can’t fix the biggest obstacle separating thirsty vehicles from gasoline: power outages that keep gas stations from being able to pump the supplies on hand.”If everything goes well, by the weekend we could see some relief,” Ralph Bombardiere, head of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, said in a telephone interview. “But it won’t be normal until the end of next week.”And even when gas is plentiful again, the industry seems unlikely to take the kind of steps that could help keep another storm like Sandy from abruptly making gasoline scarce.”Once the gas starts to flow, well go back to the same old habits,” said Bombardiere.

via Hurricane Sandy Gas Shortage: Dry Pumps Could Last For Days.

November 2, 2012

2 panthers being tracked in northeast after storm knocks enclosure fence down | Fox News

Another post-hurricane threat: panthers and wild animals.

YULEE, Fla. –  Two young panthers are being tracked in northeast Florida after Hurricane Sandy knocked down the enclosure fence where they were being raised.

A statement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the juvenile panthers, outfitted with radio collars, are being tracked in Yulee in Nassau County. Both are out of their pen but have been located by wildlife officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using telemetry to track the radio-collars on the panthers.

The cats have not traveled far from their pen. Officials are working diligently to return them to their enclosure.

The cats were captured when they were 5 months old in northern Collier County last September.

Scientists estimate that between 100 and 160 adult and sub-adult panthers live in South Florida.

via 2 panthers being tracked in northeast after storm knocks enclosure fence down | Fox News.

November 2, 2012

Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery – NYTimes.com

Gasoline shortages point to another good reason to develop towns where employment centers, park and recreation facilities, grocery stores and housing are within walking distance. Community gardens are also important in this regard, although the flooding would have destroyed these. In any event, communities need to meet their needs without requiring an automobile trip to do so. Bicycle lanes and bicycle ownership by every family member are another good idea.

Four days after Hurricane Sandy, the effort to secure enough gas for the region moved to the forefront of recovery work. The problems affected even New York City, where the Taxi Commission warned that the suddenly indispensable fleet of yellow cabs would thin significantly Friday because of the fuel shortage.</p>

via Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery – NYTimes.com.

November 2, 2012

Sandy Leaves Mass Transit Reeling, Millions Stranded in Greater NY | Fox Business

This is another casualty of poor disaster planning after Hurricane Sandy washed out the subway and surface mass transportation systems.

Trees and boats deposited by storm surges on railroad tracks and horrific floods caused by Hurricane Sandy threaten to keep millions of people reliant on public transportation stranded for days.

Efforts to analyze the scale and breadth of damage on railways, subways, roadways, trains and buses in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut began Tuesday, however it’s unclear when public transit will return to normal. 

via Sandy Leaves Mass Transit Reeling, Millions Stranded in Greater NY | Fox Business.

November 2, 2012

Lack Of Long-Term Planning, Underinvestment Hamper Energy Restore

Imagine a 100-year planning horizon. This is not a far-fetched idea, according to Brian Colle, a professor of atmospheric science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

NEW YORK — Two days after Hurricane Sandy walloped the East Coast, electrical utility companies warned hundreds of thousands of customers from Long Island to New Jersey that they may be left in the dark for more than 10 days.

Critics said cost-cutting was holding back recovery efforts, and long-term planning around climate change and extreme weather is lacking. The the industry pointed to downed trees, knocked-out facilities and the devastating reach of the storm to explain the duration of outages.

“You cannot make infrastructure hurricane-proof. We had a nine-foot storm surge on top of high tide. You cannot protect your infrastructure against that sort of damage,” said Chris Eck, spokesman for Jersey Central Power & Light, which had 940,000 customers without power Wednesday.

But several utility and climate experts maintained that utilities, faulted in many places for their response to Hurricane Irene a year ago, should look further back in geological history, and further ahead toward the destabilizing effects of global warming, as they prepare for natural disaster.

In New York City, researchers warned in 2008 that the shoreline was highly vulnerable to a massive surge. Brian Colle, a professor of atmospheric science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said higher surges could have been foreseen by looking at geological history.

“If you’re planning for New York City to be around for more than 100 years — which I would hope so — then I think it’s prudent to have a flood mitigation plan or strategy that goes beyond 100 years,” Colle said.

via Hurricane Sandy Utility Outages May Be Worsened By Underinvestment, Lack Of Planning.

October 30, 2012

Photos: One of America’s ‘Most Extensively Contaminated Water Bodies’ Is Flooding | Observer

While the only serious flooding we saw last night was on 2nd Street, this morning saw waters creeping up almost every block next to the canal near Carroll Gardens. Flooding in the canal is troubling as its a superfund site that is home to extensive industrial activity and has a long, well-deserved reputation as a hotbed of toxic sludge and pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency describes the canal as “one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies.”

via Photos: One of America’s ‘Most Extensively Contaminated Water Bodies’ Is Flooding | Observer.

Click the link in the story for a slideshow.

June 20, 2011

The moral of the true story of the Kansas flood

This is from a Civil Engineer (!):

Just recently the Federal Government passed the law that three strikes and you [sic] out. So if you get flood [sic] four times they wont [sic] pay. People try to control mother nature and you can’t so you tell me how smart we are as a society.
Moral of the story: Respect Mother Nature and don’t buy a house in a flood prone area.

First published July 3, 2007

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